This workshop brings together scholars whose works explore the relationships between Islamic law, governance, and socioeconomic development in early modern and modern settings. In this general vein, the event will focus on two interrelated topics.
Law and Governance: This theme includes a set of issues that combine jurisprudence, legal practice, and politics. The presentations explore the ways in which legal structures and political factors influenced one another in different contexts. Central to this general orientation are the jurisprudential interpretations of political authority and how Islamic governments have interpreted the law to justify political objectives. Also relevant to the theme are the limits of change in Islamic law to address novel concerns, the appropriation of Western-style constitutional principles, and the accommodation of human and animal rights principles. The presentations and discussions in the workshop will explore how such attempts have fared in the past, what contemporary formulations involve, and the possibilities for the future.
Law and Development: This theme concerns the relationship between Islamic law, its various context-based articulations, and socioeconomic development. In particular, the workshop will address the relationship between jurisprudential interpretations and specific economic institutions and/or practices. Relevant to this topic is how the question of economic development in Muslim-majority settings might be treated from a legally informed perspective. In the context of this discussion, the workshop will also explore the scope of and limits to legal improvisation in response to socioeconomic pressures and the ways in which new legal concepts, interpretations, and institutions have been constructed to support economic development.
The workshop will be composed of five thematic panels and one open-theme panel over two days.